I teach my kids that words are like toothpaste (and I’m not sure, but I think I might have stole this from James Dobson so if you know him, tell him ‘thanks.’) Here’s why. Toothpaste is really easy to squeeze out and make a mess, but much harder to get back in the tube and clean up.
I’m thinking Thanksgiving is like that. Just shifting the word around shifts the emphasis from mashed potatoes and gravy or “OMG. I have to feed 50 people” to a day for giving thanks.
Now I’m not saying it’s easy to wade through piles of those foods we associate with celebration. What I am saying, though, is a few shifts in thinking may make the day’s focus line up better with our primary goals of keeping healthy, shedding pounds or maintaining that shiny glow, depending on where you are in the process. Here’s some tips borrowed from Dr. Anderson and his wife, Lori. (And a shout out to health coach, Sue Callaway for the awesome veggie platter idea upstairs!)
Tip 1: Focus on Fellowship, not on food.
Enjoy the view! If your family is anything like mine, they can be very entertaining. Share a story. Listen. Make a conscious effort to really connect with someone in a new way.
Tip 2: Keep 1 and 5 alive!
I had to switch that to maintain the rhyming effect. Forgive me. Pace your day on a regular schedule and don’t save up for that one big meal. Remember the habits you have worked hard to make a part of your daily living. Give thanks to your body and fuel it accordingly. If your meal falls too far from one of your fuelings, eat a shake or half a bar so you don’t sit down with your stomach growling.
Tip 3: Bring that darling veggie turkey!
No, not that nasty to-furky stuff–unless, of course, you love that. I’m talking that really cute turkey made of veggies up above. I was assigned the ham, but will be bringing an additional huge green salad with organic greens and baby arugula from our garden and some really awesome olive oil and balsamic. I, my friends, will be the ONLY one eating this at my family gathering. And that’s okay. When they are all curled up in the fetal position holding their bellies and unbuttoning their pants, I’ll be humming with that energy that comes from treating my body healthily.
Tip 4: Hydrate!
My family are drinkers. And not of water. My goal is to match them drink for drink with my H2O. Find your personal challenge. And make sure you cross over the 64 oz. limit line–at least.
Tip 5: Don’t forget your 9 inch blue plate.
Now I know some of you will not actually bring your plate along (although I’m tempted…really tempted.) But maybe pretend your 12 inch platter has a 3 inch moat that you can’t exceed. Or use the dessert plate as a dinner plate.
Tip 6: Fail to plan, plan to fail
Yawn. So cliche. But here’s what I like about it. You’ve got to remind yourself of your primary goal. (This is straight from Dr. A’s book on Habits of Health which I’m really hoping you have all read by now.) Even before primary goal comes fundamental choice. Let’s say your fundamental choice is optimal health. Your primary goal then becomes eating healthy and exercising very regularly (including–eh, hem especially–on Thanksgiving.) Your secondary goals, then are eating 5/1 on Thanksgiving Day and all that to help you achieve what you have set out to do. It’s about giving yourself the respect you deserve to meet your goals.
Last–and most important–tip:
When you wake up, make a list of ten of the things you are so thankful for–more if you’re really ambitious. You all will be on my list!
Relax. Enjoy. Give thanks.